Sunday 23rd September, ‘Volants de Bassegoda’.
Just across the border in Spain lies ‘Bassegoda’, a natural reserve
culminating in the peak that rises to 1,373m. As part of a randonnée
transfrontalière (or cross-border hike) organised by Albera Viva,
we left the village of Albanyà by 4wd, climbing part of the mountain
road. Tiny chapels are hidden in the heights, with their frescoes
protected from light, perched on precipices close to the sky, as
the view is immense, and plunges to encompass the deep valleys that
lie in the space between the chain of the Pyrénées that stretches
as far as the eye can see, from Spain to France, with Canigou (still
bare, his upper slopes golden where the snow usually lies) dominating
to the North-West.
While ‘alone’ with our thoughts (after scaling the vertical rocks leading
to the peak), we were also reminded of the ongoing quest for recognition
of ‘Catalan identity’ as the independence movement gains momentum,
flying the flag for ‘Catalunya Independencia’, high above the dividing
range that naturally seperates North from South, as if to say “benvinguts”
(welcome) to Catalonia.